Thursday, October 16, 2014

Overcoming Healthcare Obstacles

GBMC Primary Care Practices Focus on Helping Patients Easily Navigate the System

Navigating the healthcare system can be daunting. Patients, especially those with chronic diseases, such as diabetes, hypertension and obesity, are tasked with keeping track of a multitude of overwhelming details about their own care. These details include understanding and properly managing their medications, knowing who to contact with questions, remembering to schedule follow-up appointments with their primary care doctors and specialists, and locating social and financial resources to help them meet their goals.

Recognizing that the complexity of the healthcare process is often an obstacle preventing patients from getting the care they need, GBMC’s primary care practices offer services to help keep patients on the right track. The services, led by a team of nurse care managers and care coordinators, ensure that patients know how to safely navigate the healthcare system and get timely care, answers to questions and referrals to resources. The care managers and coordinators work closely together and with all providers on the medical team to meet the gamut of patient needs – medical, social and financial. “Our primary care patients can expect to receive a call from a care manager and/or coordinator if they've recently visited the emergency room or hospital and need any type of follow up care, education or assistance,” explains Diana Mantell, Administrator for Population Health. “Patients can rest assured that it is not a solicitation call and their medical information remains private and secure. The care manager or coordinator is simply another member of their healthcare team offering assistance.”

According to Ms. Mantell, the service is essentially an added benefit to the high quality care patients already receive at GBMC – one that is meant to be informative, non-intrusive, and to provide them with individualized care plans and resources that support their healthcare goals. This year alone, nurse care managers have worked with more than 500 patients and the care coordinators have connected patients with resources more than 1,000 times.

“One great feature of our care manager and coordinator services is that they are available to any and all of our primary care patients, regardless of what insurance they hold,” says Ms. Mantell. They are in the offices, ready to answer questions, teach patients how to administer medications or use health monitoring devices such as glucometers, and assist in finding financial resources and other support groups to help patients push through any barriers they are facing in maintaining their health and wellness. “Our goal is to keep members of the community healthy and out of the hospital,” she says. “Care manager and coordinator services are designed to help achieve that goal.”

Patients interested in being connected to a nursing care manager or care coordinator are encouraged to contact their GBMC primary care physician directly via their main office number. To find a primary care provider who is right for you, visit or call 443-849-GBMC (4262).

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